Friday — a special day to pay tribute to workers of the territory
In celebration of the labor of the hard working men and women of American Samoa —both government employees and members of the private sector— all government offices and public schools will be closed tomorrow — Friday, Aug. 30 says Chief of Staff Fiu Johnny Saelua in a memorandum.
However, Fiu explained Friday is a regular working day, however this day will be spent at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Ili’ili.
He stated the difference is that work for this day will be held at the Stadium with a parade and other planned activities organized by the Department of Human Resources to “recognize and pay tribute to the work force within the territory, whose effort, dedication and talents often go unnoticed and unrecognized. In the spirit of team-building with the other workforce groups from the private sector, this event offers rare opportunity for all of us to come together as the ASG family."
Human Resources Director Sonny Thompson said this is the first time the government is honoring Labor Day for government workers and private sector employees. He explained the United States Flag will be raised by Litea Uifa’atali who’s been with DOE for 55 Years, Loia Gutu who has been with the Audit Office for 45 years, while the American Samoa Flag will be raised by Tinousi Jennings, who has been with DOH for 51 years and Silila Patane, who has worked for Port Administration for 45 years.
Reading of the Proclamation in English will be conducted by Papali’itele Violet Richmond, who has been with Human Resources for 46 years, while the Samoan version will be read by Tuaolo Meko Aiumu of Public Works, having served ASG for 54 years.
The HR Director stated that Governor Lolo will give opening remarks with Senate President Gaoteote Palaie as keynote speaker, while House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale is the guest speaker. Samoa News points out Savali is currently the longest serving member of the House of Representatives.
The DH director, who will be the Master of Ceremonies for the event, said there will be a parade which will be led by the Fatu-o-Aiga band at 7:30am. The band with participating departments will march from the OMV to the Stadium where all other departments and government agencies, including Fono and court employees should be assembled.
DOE EMPLOYEES MUST SWIP IN- SWIP OUT
Director of Education, Vaitinasa Salu Hunkin-Finau told Samoa News that while the public schools will be closed Friday, Aug. 30 for students, all DOE employees are required to attend the ASG Labor Day celebrations at the stadium on Friday. All employees working in Pavaiai, Manulele, Lupelele, Tafuna Elem, THS and NVTHS are expected to 'swipe in' at their respective locations before 7:30am. Everyone else can swipe in at the THS Gym. The entire DOE will begin the parade to the stadium by 7:30am.
When the celebration is done, all employees will then swipe out at the stadium at designated bleachers opposite the entrance gate. For more information contact your supervisors ASAP, said DOE Director.
BACKBONE OF THE TERRITORY'S FUTURE
HR director Thompson said, from the assembly line at Starkist Samoa to the teachers in the Classroom to the construction workers laying the foundation for a new home or business; from the nurse to the police officer serving our community, from the lawmaker’s chambers to the court bench, from the school lunch cook to the laboratory phlebotomist – our working men and women are the unshakable foundation of American Samoa’s peace and economic prosperity.
“They are the backbone on which our future is built and will carry us to new heights of renewed hope in years to come,” said Thompson.
He further noted this historic observance would not have been possible without the foresight of Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga and it is an esteemed honor and privilege to say, “on behalf of a grateful American Samoa, we commend your wisdom and foresight for establishing such a fitting event to honor the Workforce of both past and present that help shape the American Samoa.”
The HR Director said on Labor Day, they will also acknowledge "the valiant sacrifice of our ancestors who have given so much of their lives in service to this government; and yet never received a special day dedicated to them for their unswerving dedication and commitment that helped shaped and mold this government.”
He noted in the last 50 years, they have transformed the territory from a largely subsistence economy to an industrial and service based economy. “That is a testament of our resolve — all of which would not have been possible without the sweat and sacrifice of our Workforce.”
Thompson noted that on Friday the stadium will be filled with different colors, which represent the diversity and inclusion of our workforce. “From many we are one, a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. With resolve and firm commitment, we can build an infrastructure our children and elderly can live on for generations to come.”
Further, he said, “In Government, the Executive Branch has reached across the aisle to our Legislative policy makers to invest in job creation for the next wave of institutional leaders who have returned from abroad with specialized skills. The return on our investment will be evident with increased sales and productivity, improved services, and income taxes. This is our shared responsibility to guarantee American Samoa’s economic prosperity.”
He noted that this coming Labor Day. the government will honor their fellow workers and that “scripture teaches us that no matter your occupation, work is honorable. Honest toil, done in a joyful spirit, is like a prayer to God.”
To the government employees, the HR director stated, as the appointed authority for our government’s workforce, “I stand shoulder to shoulder with you in our relentless pursuit of excellence. Better Stewardship. Stronger Workforce. Let us continue to work together. Only then we are bound by no limits.”
In a separate memorandum Governor Lolo M. Moliga noted Labor Day Monday, September 2, 2013 will be observed as a holiday. All government offices will be closed and normal activities will be suspended on that day. ASG employees who are not required to perform essential duties will be excused while employees required to perform duty on that day will receive holiday wages in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
Samoa News will publish tomorrow, Friday, August 30 and Saturday, August 31.
However, we will not publish on Monday, September 2, 2013 in observance of Labor Day.
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